On Saturday, April 6th, Science Heads successfully launched its third High Altitude Balloon (HAB3). In the payload were experiments designed by students from La Paz Intermediate (Mission Viejo) and Woodbridge High School (Irvine). The balloon reached an altitude of 110,000 feet (20.8 miles) and traveled approximately 70 miles. The main experiment payload was recovered from the side of Palomar Mountain in San Diego county.
This launch would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors and volunteers. Thank you! We will be posting pictures and video of the launch very soon.
The City of Lake Forest held an Astronomy Night at the Sports Park, and Science Heads was there!
We brought a bunch of new astronomy-related science stations, including Eclipse on the Wall (see how eclipses happen), Twinkle Stars (why do stars twinkle?), Sunset in a Glass Dish (why does the sky turn red at sunset?), Pie Plate Solar System (can you make the Earth orbit the Sun?), and a revised Constellation Identification station (how many do you know?). Plus there were several favorites, like Glow in the House (everyday materials that glow under “black”light) and Relative Sun Size (Sun and planet sizes to scale).
Of course, we also had the mobile observatory and plenty of telescopes. None of the more familiar planets were up for the night (Saturn had set just after the Sun), but Richard was able to treat participants to view of Uranus as a ghostly blue dot in space. Our other telescopes were pointed at individual stars like Capella and Sirius, or star clusters like the Pleiades. Meanwhile, Brad showed off our outdoor display setup with Eyes on the Solar System.
We had a great turnout, and a lot of fun. We hope that the City of Lake Forest will continue these events.
October 28th was International Observe the Moon night, and we were out doing just that! The Science Heads crew and members of OC Astronomers had their telescopes out, observing the Moon and several other goodies in the sky.
Thank you to our volunteers and the staff and volunteers at LCWP and Nix for having us out again!
Wow! The Spooktacular Fun Days event over the weekend was a great one! We had hundreds of people of all ages come through our Mobile Observatory, and hundreds more stop by to tour the Solar System and pick up stickers.
Our voices were rough for a few days afterward, but it was absolutely worthwhile, and we’ll be back next year, for sure! Come see us then, or if you can’t wait, check out our Calendar for upcoming public events.
Members of Science Heads traveled to John Day, Oregon and Idaho Falls, Idaho to observe the total solar eclipse. It was the first total solar eclipse that most of us had the opportunity to experience, and was definitely worth the time and travel needed to see this amazing natural phenomenon.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) produced a video featuring our mobile observatory, which was seen during the eclipse coverage on NASA TV. Unfortunately only half of it was played during the live eclipse coverage because of a technical problem.
Meanwhile, Michal Peri organized an expedition attended by thirty people, including two other board members, James and Rebecca Hammond, to the town of John Day, Oregon. James was able to capture some images of the eclipse, which you can see at the end of the photo gallery, below.
All of us had an incredible time, and are making plans to seeing totality again! Get ready, everyone, because the next American total solar eclipse is April 8, 2024. (And if you just can’t wait, there are two in South America in 2019 and 2020.)
Dr. Michal Peri will start the evening with a talk on the upcoming solar eclipse of August 21st (just three weeks away!), which will travel from west to east all the way across the U.S.
Following her talk, Science Heads will be hosting night-sky viewing in our Mobile Observatory, three fun science and art stations outside, and an interactive 3D tour of the solar system using NASA software and imagery.
Science Heads Executive Director, Richard Stember, gave a talk on the upcoming solar eclipse at the Mission Viejo Library in front of an audience of more than 70 people. The talk was well received, and Richard got many compliments from those attending.
Science Heads volunteers and board members held an event at the library afterward, focused on solar science and eclipse viewing. We really appreciated the interest, and the opportunity to answer many questions about the sun and the solar eclipse on August 21st.
Be sure to tune in to NASA TV for live coverage of the eclipse, including a broadcast of the eclipse’s progress from inside our mobile observatory! Richard will be driving the observatory to Idaho Falls, where he will connect our solar telescope to a live video feed.
Science Heads was proud to participate in the Lake Forest Camp Out at the sports park, on the 15th.
After the last story was told around the campfire and the park lights were doused, we opened up our telescopes for viewing of Jupiter and Saturn. The “seeing” as the astronomers say, was spectacular for city viewing. We were able to see the Cassini Division in the rings of Saturn, and even get a glimpse of the Great Red Spot on Jupiter.
We’ll be participating in future Lake Forest city events, so check in on our Event Calendar!
Science Heads celebrates the Fourth of July by showing off our (freshly washed!) mobile observatory in the Lake Forest parade.
We had a great time today, waving, walking, and handing out over 1000 pairs of solar viewing glasses. Lake Forest is so enthusiastic for the eclipse that we ran out of glasses only part of the way down Lake Forest Drive. Sorry to have missed the rest of you, but if you’d still like a pair, ours were made by Rainbow Symphony in Reseda, are thoroughly certified as safe for sun viewing, and are only $1.95 in small quantities. NASA has a page with more information on finding quality sun viewing glasses and tips on safe sun viewing.
Finally, a huge thank you to our board members and super volunteers out walking the streets of Lake Forest on this very warm Independence Day!